Zondo Inquiry told CSR did not meet requirements for Transnet tender

Former Transnet electrical engineer Francis Callard on Monday testified at the state capture commission of inquiry about the irregular procurement of 100 locomotives from China South Rail for the coal line.

A screengrab of former Transnet strategy manager Francis Callard appearing at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on 20 May 2019.

PRETORIA - Former Transnet electrical engineer Francis Callard said the decision by the parastatal to unilaterally change the technical specifications of the locomotives to be procured was extremely irresponsible and undermined the purpose of the acquisition project.

Callard on Monday testified at the state capture commission of inquiry about the irregular procurement of 100 locomotives from China South Rail (CSR) for the coal line.

Callard said decisions related to the multi-billion rand project were taken without input from technical experts.

“The decision by the group and also the supply chain service to arbitrary and unilaterally change technical specifications without technical consultation was irresponsible. The impact of the change to CSR on design changes for locomotive delivery were never discussed with technical or operations.”

He said opting to buy from CSR had a knock-on effect.

“I believe the confinement to CSR was fraud in concept and execution.”

Callard further revealed that CSR did not meet the requirements when it was awarded the contract.

WATCH: Ex-Transnet engineer details South China Rail locomotive purchases